Two University of Tasmania graduates will undertake the opportunity of a lifetime as recipients of a scholarship to study theology at the University of Oxford.

Adrian Staples and Harrison Virs have been awarded the scholarships by Reverend Professor Michael Tate AO.  

The Michael Tate Oxford Scholarship, named after University of Tasmania and University of Oxford alumnus Father Michael Tate, will enable the students to travel to the UK in October and undertake the nine-month Postgraduate Diploma in Theology and Religion offered through Oxford’s Blackfriars Hall.

I am delighted to present these scholarships to such high-achieving alumni, and look forward to seeing the impact this opportunity has on them, professionally and academically, Father Tate said.

(Left to right) Harrison Virs Reverend, Professor Michael Tate AO and Adrian Staples.

Launched last year, the scholarships are valued at up to $65,000 each, and cover fees and associated expenses, travel costs and living allowances for at least one year.

For Hobart local Harrison Virs, the scholarship will enable him to further his passion for studying theology after graduating last year from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours.

Studying at the University of Tasmania gave me an excellent platform in historical methodology, and I am extremely grateful to Father Tate for the opportunity to take my studies further, he said.

Adrian Staples, a Tasmanian solicitor and Doctor of Philosophy, will use the scholarship to study the relationship between religious, moral, and secular authority.  

This is an incredible opportunity to study with leading thinkers and policy makers in the fields of social justice and humanitarian rights, for which I am most grateful, he said.

About Harrison Virs (Bachelor of Arts with Honours)

Harrison Virs matriculated from The Hutchins School, before pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania where he majored in History. He graduated in 2016 with First-Class Honours, and will be using his time at Oxford to broaden his knowledge of key theological concepts within the western Christian church.

About Adrian Staples (Doctor of Philosophy)

Adrian Staples matriculated from Guilford Young College and went on to study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania, graduating with Honours in 2008. He then pursued a Doctor of Philosophy, completing his thesis on the work of Martin Heidegger and the philosophy of language in 2013. Adrian then undertook a Bachelor of Laws, graduating with Honours in 2015, before completing his Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the University’s Centre for Legal Studies in 2016.

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